FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GWINNETT COUNTY, GA. – Earlier this year, Preface further cemented its partnership within Gwinnett County Public Schools, donating over 200 multilingual books, sponsored in part by The Pritchard Foundation, and thousands of dollars in healthcare resources from Earth Baby at a special Legacy Gift event.
The special gift, which further complemented Preface's Gwinnett-grown work already featured by the AJC and Gwinnett County Public Schools' own 5 in Five Spotlight, was presented in honor of Preface's virtual cluster-based partnership between Hopkins Elementary School and Berkmar High School.
Preface’s expansionary partnership alongside Gwinnett County’s Berkmar High School and its feeder school, Hopkins Elementary School, represents a milestone development in Preface’s work in its home community of Gwinnett County, GA. Building on its past pilot program successes with Berkmar High School and Lilburn Elementary School, Preface responded to county and administrator requests at the start of the pandemic and focused on further strengthening existing intra-cluster relationships.
The goal of this initiative was to further enhance the student experience within the Berkmar High School cluster, making it easier for teachers, ambassadors and students alike to utilize Preface’s innovative literacy models.
“The collaborative efforts between our schools and Preface are a great wrap-around support system for students and teachers alike, working to adjust to needs of the blended learning environments,” said Cindy Moffett, Berkmar High School’s Assistant Principal. “With such a diverse and culturally rich school cluster as Berkmar, one of the greatest aspects of this program is its focus on ‘early childhood literacy - with a multilingual twist.’”
Owing to its incredibly diverse population, Gwinnett County has served as a model for a school system where students from all backgrounds can leverage their innate language skills to assist teachers and young students who may benefit from an additional multilingual resource on the road to literacy. With many students coming from environments where English may not be regularly spoken, Preface steps in to bridge that gap by training high school Ambassadors to assist children through individualized supplemental reading sessions during the school day.
“One to one and small group tutoring being offered weekly can help to bridge comprehension gaps and foster early childhood literacy, which is the foundation of success,” said Gabriel Zaragoza, the Principal of Hopkins Elementary School. “We are very appreciative of the interest, collaboration and support provided to ensure that our students have a chance to be successful during this time.”
Virtual learning has often presented challenges for many students and their teachers, creating new challenges for educators to address the individual needs of every student as easily as they might in-person. With reading remaining a foundational part of a child’s education, Preface works to supplement existing educational channels to provide further support and tailored attention to new readers.
“Any time we can get the kindergarteners reading is beneficial,” said Andrea Bjelobrk, a kindergarten teacher at Hopkins. “Preface offering the children extra one-on-one time is so important because that is where you see that growth. I have a student who was reading below grade level at the beginning of the year, and he is now reading at grade level - and I know Preface is contributing to that.”
This new partnership between the cluster schools is not only helping to bridge literacy gaps for students, but is also helping to foster a greater sense of community within Gwinnett County Public School clusters. By providing resources that schools can use for years to come, Preface continues to build the future leaders of communities by improving childhood literacy - in its home community, and all across America.
Founded in 2019, Preface is a public-private philanthropic initiative dedicated to fostering Equality Through Education and early childhood literacy - often with a multilingual twist! Partnering with educators and community leaders, Preface empowers local high schoolers to give back to their communities and bridge opportunity gaps by fostering literacy among young students of all backgrounds. A federally recognized 501(c)(3) organization, Preface is proudly headquartered in Gwinnett County, Georgia and serves communities across America. Learn more at www.PrefaceProject.org.
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